NSF Undergraduate Summer Research Experience

The application period for Summer 2016 has passed. 

Please consider applying for Summer 2017 in November.

The Program

The ten-week REU in Polymers will be held May 31st - July 29th, 2016.  Approximately ten research opportunities will be available for the Summer of 2015 with additional research positions available through co-sponsorship with NSF Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS).   Research assignments will be based on preferences indicated on the application form in the following possible research areas: polymer nanocomposites, layered materials, polymer chemistry, functional and responsive systems, high performance materials, biomedical devices, polymer rheology, polymer processing.   

Sample Projects

1. Cyclic Polymers by Click Reaction

2. Enhancing Graphene Nanocomposites

3. Accelerated Aging of Cool Roofing Materials 

4. Accessing Functional Cellulose Nanocrystals

5. Strain Rate and Mechanical Tuning of Co-extruded Multilayer Thin Films

In addition to cutting-edge research, REU participants will participate in weekly sessions emphasizing the fundamentals of polymer science and engineering, ethics, communication skills, and graduate school preparation.  Local industry tours and social activities are also planned.    REU students are required to present a poster and submit a final report at the end of the summer. Each REU participant will receive a $6000 stipend payable in two installments.  The first payment of $3000 will be available during the first week of the program with the remaining portion available once the program requirements are fulfilled.

Students majoring in polymer science and engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, materials science and engineering or a related field are encouraged to apply.  Women, underrepresented minorities, and students from primarily undergraduate institutions are especially encouraged to apply. Participants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

Review the REU Poster

Complete the Application Online

Frequently Asked Questions Prior to Applying

1.     Are CWRU students eligible to apply? We typically do not admit CWRU students and instead encourage them to apply to REU programs at other institutions. 

2.     Are official transcripts required?  Yes, official transcripts are required and must be received prior to the application deadline.

3.     What are the housing arrangements?  On-campus housing is available near the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering.  The dorm rooms are configured with individual bedrooms, common living room, and a bathroom per suite.   Each building has a fullly, equipped kitchen, game room, and laundry facilities. 

4.     Are the dorm cafeterias open during the summer?  No; however, several grocery stores and restaurants (on- and off-campus) are within walking distance of the dorm.

5.     Does the REU program pay for housing and living costs? No, students are responsible for payment of housing and living expenses from their REU stipend, which is paid in two installments at the beginning and end of the ten week program.  Housing payments are not due until the end of the summer.

6.     Will my travel costs be reimbursed?  In general, no.  Travel supplements may be considered on a case-by-case basis for demonstrated financial hardship.

7.     Will I receive a confirmation that my application is complete?  Due to the large number of applications received, e-mails will not be sent with application status.  However, you may check the status of your application at any time via the web portal.  Updates regarding transcripts received via mail will be processed within the online portal every Friday.

8.     I am unavailable to start at the beginning of the REU program. May I delay my start? Typically, no, as the program is structured to include important workshops and trainings during the first week to facilitate the start of the REU.  Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis after application review.

9. Is it possible for me to enroll in coursework during the summer?  Since the activities of the REU program are full-time, this is typically discouraged. 

Please address any application questions you may have to: 
Prof. David A. Schiraldi, Dept. of Macromolecular
Science & Engineering Case Western Reserve University
2100 Adelbert Road, Kent Hale Smith 413 Cleveland, OH 44106-7202
Email: reu-polymers@case.edu
Fax: (216) 368-4202